Weight for Stephen Finlay

Philosophical Studies 163 (3):737-749 (2013)
According to Stephen Finlay, ‘A ought to X’ means that X-ing is more conducive to contextually salient ends than relevant alternatives. This in turn is analysed in terms of probability. I show why this theory of ‘ought’ is hard to square with a theory of a reason’s weight which could explain why ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es. I develop two theories of weight to illustrate my point. I first look at the prospects of a theory of weight based on expected utility theory. I then suggest a simpler theory. Although neither allows that ‘A ought to X’ logically entails that the balance of reasons favours that A X-es, this price may be accepted. For there remains a strong pragmatic relation between these claims.
Keywords Stephen Finlay  Ought  Reasons  Weight of reasons  Expected utility theory  Moral semantics
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9842-y
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References found in this work BETA
Stephen Finlay (2008). The Error in the Error Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
Stephen Finlay (2009). Oughts and Ends. Philosophical Studies 143 (3):315 - 340.

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